Sorry for the silence. Mostly, I've been job-hunting and writing, or rather, job-hunting and figuring out this story, interspersed with writing.
With each story I begin, I try to do a little more work before I put pen to paper, try to research more, try to plot out more. When I was younger, I just opened a new word doc, or slipped paper into my typewriter, and just whoosh. An image or a character comes to mind and I just ramble on, seeing where they take me. About fifty or eighty pages in, I hit a snag because I can't seem to go further without knowing where the story should end up. Two of those are still waiting for me to give them another look, another, the latest of the three, was completed as my undergraduate Honors project.
As I went along, I tried to wait. Just that spark, but don't write anything just yet, force it to percolate.
Now, I tend to jot down some notes, or speak them into a tape recorder by my bed, but for this newest story, well, I tried to hold off because it's steampunk and I knew it needed more research into clockwork, steam engines and the Victorian era, all things I know something about, but not enough. So I held off on writing the story itself, but finally the characters were clamouring so much I had to begin writing. I'm now trying to catch up in research to the story as it's progressing.
In fact, I'm off to write some more now. Tonight is my writer's group (sometime this fall/winter, my sister and I started going back, ut we skipped last week because it was La Befana), and I want to bring some good pages, strong, descriptive, active. No rambling first draft. Which means I have a lot to do.
Happy writing, everyone,